Pampering Papa with Father’s Day Facials
More and more men are showing up for facial treatments that may include specialized facial care and injections.
It was just 8 a.m. on a recent Friday morning but Lauren Kirk, who does skin treatments at the Aqua Spa of Dermatology Specialists of Georgia in Marietta, was already prepared for a full day.
Kirk was booked solid, but I arrived early in the morning and she was able to squeeze me in on short notice. I was just one of several men she had scheduled for luxurious facial pampering just ahead of Father’s Day. Kirk estimates that almost one-third of her clients are men who are looking for a quick tune-up for their skin. Often, she says, they are looking for more dramatic results than are her female clients.
“Men typically want something that they can see a little bit more bang for their buck. They want to see the big results faster,” Kirk told the AJT. “So they are doing facials, but I would typically say they are going more toward lasers, microneedling, which is something really great for pores and scarring in the skin. They want more results, faster.”
This morning, though, there will be no microneedling or dermabrasion for me, thanks. I am here to relax.
In a small, darkened treatment room, I lay my head on a soft pillow, breathe in the faintly scented lavender aroma that fills the space, close my eyes and drift off.
For the next hour, my skin is covered in layer upon layer of cremes and liquids that some in the cosmetic industry call cosmeceuticals. These products are used to exfoliate and balance the pH levels in skin, clean away the dead skin cells that accumulate during the monthlong cycle of skin renewal, nourish and polish pores with enzymes and vitamins that brighten and intensify the natural glow our skin had when we were younger.
As a final relaxing flourish, Kirk draped a moist, warm face towel across my face. It seemed to confirm like nothing else that I would soon be heaven-bound.
“For most people,” she said, “this is one of their favorite parts of a facial, getting this warm towel on the skin really helps loosen up the pores. It helps to break up the vitamin C that we have on the skin. So it’s just a really nice way to rejuvenate the skin.”
Presiding over this palace of pampering, which now includes 7,000 square feet of treatment and examination rooms, is Dr. Alan Gardner. His Jewish grandparents, who came to the U.S. from Lithuania and Poland in the early 20th century, would be amazed at what their descendant has accomplished without ever leaving his large office complex.
Gardner, likewise, is impressed with how far the field of dermatology has come during the course of his 35-year career. Over the decades, he says, he has seen a revolution in the way men, in particular, have come to appreciate their skin and try to improve it.
“Men are becoming more aware, more concerned about their skin and want to know what new techniques coming out can improve their tone, the texture, the quality of their skin,” he says. “And this is steadily increasing. So it’s not just about pampering your skin, but actually improving it. We can keep men looking more youthful.”
One injection promises to fill in the cheeks and lift the jowls. Another describes how it cushions and hydrates facial tissue to smooth it out. Still a third claims to correct facial fat loss by helping the body build collagen and fill it out. But these comparatively recent interventions are just part of what Garner sees as a new arsenal of techniques that doctors can offer their clients.
“Dermatologists can improve the tone, the texture, the quality of the skin and freshen things up. Nothing major. Not talking about facelifts or heavy-duty procedures. Just what can be done with mild chemical peels, mild microdermabrasion and lasers that can tighten up the skin and give you a nice, fresh look,” he said.
Men are increasingly discovering the benefits of Botox fillers, a non-surgical procedure that fixes facial lines and wrinkles caused by age, worry and stress. According to the manufacturer, the market for Botox is now worth almost $6 billion and the number of men electing to go in for injections has increased by 258 percent. It is, they say, the most popular non-invasive medical treatment for male clients.